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Apple will allow Parler to return to app store

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Apple is allowing Parler, a free-speech social media platform, to return to the app store following changes made to how the social media network moderates content. Parler was removed from the app store in January after the Capitol insurrection.

Apple wrote a letter to Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) on Monday explaining that the review team had approved of Parler’s updates and that the app is available to be downloaded again on Apple devices.

“Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it,” the letter said.

On March 31, Sen. Lee and Rep. Buck wrote a letter demanding answers as to why Parler was still banned from Apple’s app store.

“Today, we received a response: Parler will be reinstated on the App Store. Huge win for free speech,” Buck said.

The letter notes that Apple’s decision to remove Parler from its app store was “an independent decision” and that Apple “did not coordinate or otherwise consult with Google or Amazon with respect to that decision.”

Parler was also removed from Google’s app stores and Amazon Web Services following the Jan. 6 insurrection.

There has been no indication that Google Play Stores will allow Parler to come back. Moreover, Parler is currently in a legal battle with Amazon, arguing that the Big Tech companies colluded to restrict Parler’s access to the market.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Pope Francis calls for universal ban on ‘so-called surrogate motherhood’

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Pope Francis called for a universal ban on surrogacy, likening the practice as an unborn child “turned into an object of trafficking.”

“I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs,” Francis said in a speech to the Holy See on Monday.

The “uterus for rent” process, as Francis has called it, was estimated to bring in $14 billion in the U.S. in 2022, and is projected to grow to a $129 billion market by 2032. National Review reports Individual surrogacies can cost anywhere from $60,000 to $200,000 plus in the U.S. Rising infertility rates, an increase in the number of fertility clinics, and “sedentary lifestyles” contribute to surrogacy’s recent popularity, according to Global Market Insights.

“A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Surrogacy is already banned in many European countries. In the United States, commercial surrogacy, or for-profit surrogacy, is legal in some states, and the practice has been used by celebrities who are very public with their decision to use surrogacy.

Altruistic surrogacy, the method by which a woman carries another person’s child for no official compensation, is legal in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, Greece, and Iceland, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The speech was about threats to peace and human dignity. “A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Francis also listed Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, climate change, and increased weapons production as great threats to peace on Monday.

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